Greek Cultural Influences Essay

757 Words May 30th, 2010 4 Pages
The culture of ancient Greece reflects the importance of the individual in society in many different ways. The Greeks used art, philosophy, and even their system of government to convey their beliefs in the importance of one single man in a society.

Greek artists showed value for the individual. All people were portrayed in Greek art, from the sagging old woman to the ideal athlete. Although early Greek art focused on the human ideal, their later art shows that the Greeks appreciated all forms, and found the human body in general to be a beautiful thing. Even the gods in Greek art showed how highly the Greeks valued humanity. The gods were depicted as humans, and were made to human scale; no huge overpowering deity was ever portrayed
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After the end of tyranny, Greece had a democracy; a government ruled by the people for the people. This democracy was made up of a number of committees who did everything from working the laws all the way to handling military affairs. Any man could become a member of these committees if they were at least eighteen years of age. Individuals were elected by the people for exactly one year. This system also made it so that even the poor citizens were not powerless, and it enabled Greek legislation to be governed by new people with new ideas every term. Clearly, the Greeks took advantage of the abilities of its citizens.

Along with creating a fair society for its citizens to live in, the Greeks also promoted the forward thinking and ideas of its people. The philosophies of such Greeks as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates helped shape Greek society in many ways. Plato valued the ability of all people, and believed that the ideal polis would be one in which every citizen would do his part according to his or her abilities, and there would be no distinguishing marks between the rich and the poor. Socrates also valued people in that he believed human beings and their environment are the essential subject of philosophical inquiry, meaning that humans and their actions were extremely complex and hard to understand, so

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